|Publication number||US6890883 B2|
|Application number||US 10/364,902|
|Publication date||May 10, 2005|
|Filing date||Feb 11, 2003|
|Priority date||Feb 11, 2002|
|Also published as||US6943198, US7101247, US7138079, US20030232177, US20030234462, US20030236313, US20030236339, US20040002560, US20040009875, US20040048018|
|Publication number||10364902, 364902, US 6890883 B2, US 6890883B2, US-B2-6890883, US6890883 B2, US6890883B2|
|Inventors||Tony M. Pearce|
|Original Assignee||Edizone, Lc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Classifications (66), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
PRIORITY: I hereby claim the benefit under Title 35, U.S.C. § 119(e) of a U.S. Provisional Patent Application filed on Feb. 11, 2002 and having Ser. No. 60/356,279.
In the prior art, some effort has been made to laminate photographs or place them into plastic casings for protection. Digital photographs are often printed on special paper or paper or polymer film which is polymer coated with polyester or other polymers. However, such papers must be made flexible in order to go through the dye sublimation printers for which they are designed. They are also not made to have photographs on both sides. Another drawback is that the polyester or polymer coating is very thin, and thus the photograph can lack depth and luster.
Biaxially stretched polyester as a photo-receptive layer is disclosed.
As used herein, “BSP” shall mean biaxially stretched polyester. In the past, there has not been any use of BSP films as a photo-receptive layer for printing photographs. I have discovered that the use of a clear BSP film (which is considerably thicker than the coated films of prior art photo paper) as the photo-receptive layer on top of a white substrate provides marvelous color, clarity, detail, and depth to photos and other graphics printed by dye sublimation.
Printing of a photograph or other graphic onto BSP may be achieved by use of heat and/or pressure over time in order to sublimate onto the laminate. The heat and/or pressure can be applied in a flat heat press, or in a printer such as known dye sublimation printers, or in a heated roller press, or by any other means. The laminate may include a white layer, such as BSP or biaxially stretched poly(ethylene) naphthalate (BSPN), and a layer of clear BSP or BSPN on one or both sides of the white layer. The thickness or material of the white layer can be any thickness or material that provides reasonable opacity and brightness. For a feeling of durability and quality, the center layer is may be 0.001 to 0.014 inches, such as 0.008 inch thick BNP, but can be much thinner and can be thicker. BNP is commercially available at this time in thicknesses up to 0.014 inches. The BSP or BSPN layer can be as thin as 0.0001 inches, which is considerably thicker than the coatings on prior art paper. More commonly, the BSP or BSPN layer may be about 0.001 inches.
For some applications, such as scrapbooking and photo albums, the BSP or BSPN photo-receptive layers may be on both sides of the laminate. For example, a heat press 100 including twin platens 101 and 102 as shown in
The durability of the BSP or BSPN also eliminates the need for protective slip covers on the pages. Such graphics can be put in frames or any other place photos are used, or can be used alone if made three-dimensionally stiff. The white or light ‘layer’ of the laminate can be any item, including three-dimensional items, for example a white marble gravestone. There are many white and clear BSP and BSPN films commonly available, from suppliers such as Dupont, Teijin, and Filmquest.
Lamination can be done by several methods. One method is to co-extrude the white and clear layers together by means known in the field. Another means is by adhesive lamination of separately produced clear and white films. Another means is by coextruding an interlayer of polymer onto either the white or clear films or both, then heat laminating the layers together by means known in the field. For a three-dimensional white ‘layer’, the clear film could be coextruded with adhesive or a meltable polymer and then applied to the white substrate ‘layer’. Any means of lamination is acceptable.
Another embodiment coats the back of a clear BSP or BSPN film with a white material. For example, flood coating can be used. Or, the clear film can be dye sublimated and then the back can be coated by the end user with a peel-and-stick white layer or even painted white. The laminate can have any number of layers or coatings, provided the photo-receptive layer is BSP or BSPN or other bi-axially stretched polymeric films and is backed directly or indirectly with a white or light layer that makes the sublimated graphic show up acceptably. For a very stiff laminate, for example, two layers of 0.014 inch thick BSP plus one or two clear BSP or BSPN or the like outer layer(s) could be laminated together. This could be used for signage, for example, or for durable recording of wedding photos, or for a photo that could be placed on a desk with only a stick-on stand but no frame.
The biaxial stretching is important in that it provides crystallinity to the polymer; otherwise, the transfer paper may stick to the polymer or the polymer may deform under the heat of dye sublimation.
While the methods, structures and formulations have been described and illustrated in conjunction with a number of specific examples, those skilled in the art will appreciate that variations and modifications may be made without departing from the principles herein illustrated, described, and claimed. The present invention, as defined by the appended claims, may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The configurations of lights described herein are to be considered in all respects as only illustrative, and not restrictive. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
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|U.S. Classification||503/227, 428/910, 428/480|
|International Classification||A63B37/08, B43K23/008, A23G3/50, A63H33/28, B41M5/035, A23G3/36, B65D65/46, A61K9/00, B29C44/02, A23G3/00, A63B43/00, A23L1/00, C08K3/00, A63H33/04, A23L1/22, B32B27/36, C08J9/26, C08J9/00, A23G3/54, B43M99/00|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T428/31786, Y10T428/1352, Y10T428/2861, Y10T428/24744, Y10S428/91, A63H33/04, A63H33/28, B41M5/0355, A23L1/2205, B65D65/463, C08J2201/0444, A23L1/0067, A23G3/50, A63B2208/12, A23G3/36, A61K9/0056, B32B27/36, A23V2002/00, A23L1/0029, C08J9/26, B43K23/008, A23G3/54, A23G3/368, A63B43/008, B43M99/006, A63B2037/085|
|European Classification||C08J9/26, B41M5/035C, B43K23/008, A63H33/28, A23G3/54, B65D65/46B, A23G3/36, A23L1/22B10, A63H33/04, A23L1/00P4, A61K9/00M18B, B32B27/36, A23G3/36M4, A23G3/50, A23L1/00P8E, A63B43/00V, B43M99/00B2C|
|Sep 2, 2003||AS||Assignment|
|Oct 9, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Dec 9, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TNT HOLDINGS, LLC,UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:EDIZONE, LC;REEL/FRAME:021936/0910
Effective date: 20080613
|Jun 14, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: EDIZONE, LLC,UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TNT HOLDINGS, LLC;REEL/FRAME:024529/0147
Effective date: 20100501
|Oct 10, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8